Mulch, mulch and more mulch
Dance! 8am Pancake breakfast. 11am Parade begins at Victoria and Willow St. BBQ lunch. Entertainment and activities for all ages. email@example.com Sun Jul 1, Canada Day in Chemainus – 11:30am. Waterwheel Park Renowned performer, Rick Scott, will entertain with his very UnUsUaL instrument that looks like an Electric Snowshoe and is called a Dulcimer. You’ll get to hug bunnies and pet baby goats in the Barnyard Petting Zoo then ride the ponies. There’ll be First Nation activities, Canada Day cake, anthem singing, a craft tent, scavenger hunt, Art exhibit and more. More info: visitchemianus. com
Ladysmith’s Community Canvas The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District had a Hanging! The 4 ft x 30 ft painting that children and adults alike helped create and took 3 weeks to paint was hung on Friday May 25 as the Com-
Above: Community Canvas hangs outside in front of the Ladysmith Waterfront Art Gallery. Photo: Marina Sacht
munity Canvas. It will hang outside of the gallery for the summer, to attract people to the gallery and increase awareness about arts for all ages in the community. “We even have plans for a winter project this was so much fun,” said Kathy Holmes. The project was instigated by a grant from Arts BC.
BC landscapes featured at Cowichan Theatre Gallery Edward Epp captures the spirit of British Columbia’s northwest region in the featured exhibition for June at Cowichan Theatre Lobby Gallery, Spiritual Geography, BC Landscapes. It’s open for viewing one hour before performances, no ticket required. Or to view by appointment, contact Edward Epp at eepp@te-
BY NORM WAGENAAR The quest for the zero-maintenance property goes on. I see lawns replaced with pea gravel, lined with landscape cloth, edged with perennial raised bed gardens, only to be transformed to grass again, all with the goal of reducing cost and avoiding work. Truth is, we live on an island that wants to go back to forest; any gardening we do is an exercise in deciding what stage of the succession process we’re comfortable with. The best approaches I’ve seen include combinations of shrubs, perennials and ground covers. Given Vancouver Island’s climate, the options are staggering, with inspiration and advice easy to find at any good garden centre. The usual gardening considerations apply – does the plant want sun, shade, or a bit of both? Will it require irrigation or will it tolerate our droughts? How big will it grow? Will it eventually try to take over the garden? Once you’ve done your planting, I recommend covering any exposed soil with about three inches of mulch to conserve moisture and inhibit weeds. Mulched leaves will work, and the price is right, but some people find them unsightly. The least expensive store-bought solution is fir-bark mulch purchased by the yard; you’ll need a truck or at least know someone who has one. Resist the temptation to put landscape cloth underneath. It will stop the weeds for a year or two. But if you forget to either replenish the mulch or keep up with maintenance weed pulling (yes, you still have to do this) you’ll someday spend a hot afternoon scraping turf roots off your expensive landscape cloth and it’ll make you cry. If you want to see how far it’s possible to go with mulching, I recommend googling ‘Back to Eden documentary’ You’ll learn how Paul Gautschi, a gardener in the Olympic peninsula, uses ground up tree branches in a permaculture project that imitates nature with amazing results. Norm Wagenaar is a writer and landscaper living in Cedar. See his website at www.naturescapesnanaimo.com